This week the world saw the power of a single image -- that of the lifeless body of three year-old Aylan Kurdi lying face-down in the sand on a Turkish beach. The boy drowned, along with his brother and mother, trying to reach Europe from Syria. The heartbreaking image crystallized the growing refugee crisis, and personified the more than 2,600 people who have died this year trying to reach Europe by sea. Many are coming from Syria, where civil war has killed over 250,000 and displaced 11 million. As debate raged in the media about running the horrific photo, there was no argument about whether Europe and the rest of the West could be doing more to alleviate the horrific suffering. Already David Cameron has announced the U.K. will take in more refugees. But the image was a moral challenge to us all. As a tribute in an Australian paper read: "Rest in peace Aylan Kurdi. May God forgive us for failing you."
Ed Miliband, the former leader of the UK Labour Party and very first secretary of state for the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) gave his perspective on the run down to Paris, the role of politicians and the public at an evening of discussion from the crypt of St Pauls Cathedral hosted by Baroness Bryony Worthington.
David Cameron committed in January 2013 to hold an in/out referendum about the EU by the end of 2017 if his party won an outright majority. Maybe he was not sure he would need to deliver it. Now he is forced to. Can this be turned into an opportunity for Europe to revisit some critical issues, or will the Eurocratic immobilism prevail?